Practical power cycles

Most real power cycles consist of a working fluid that flows through various devices that change the state of the fluid in a manner than mimics the Carnot cycle. Few power-producing systems are of the single-device type, such as the piston/cylinder used to demonstrate the Carnot cycle in Sect. 4.3. All practical power cycles contain four distinct steps, or rather two pairs of steps. Each pair of steps is conducted as an iso process. The cycles differ in the thermodynamic properties that are held constant in the pairs of steps. Table 4.1 lists the principle power cycles of practical significance, along with the Carnot cycle for comparison.

Table 4.1 Power Cycles


Component Steps




2 isentropic; 2 isothermal

1 - Tl/Th

#2, p. 101; #3, p. 37


2 isentropic; 2 isobaric

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Getting Started With Solar

Getting Started With Solar

Do we really want the one thing that gives us its resources unconditionally to suffer even more than it is suffering now? Nature, is a part of our being from the earliest human days. We respect Nature and it gives us its bounty, but in the recent past greedy money hungry corporations have made us all so destructive, so wasteful.

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